PLC Upgrade Improves Reporting, Visualization and Connectivity for Cheese Producer

E Tech Group was contacted to replace three PLC5s at a cheese production facility to remove the bottleneck for an expansion of ongoing reporting projects. The project team installed a new panel to house the ControlLogix PLC and associated communications modules to reduce downtime.

Challenge:

A cheese production facility had three PLC5s critical to daily operations at full capacity creating a bottleneck for an expansion of ongoing reporting projects.  Acknowledging there was an immediate need to remove the existing PLC5s for a ControlLogix replacement, E Tech Group was contacted.  Having worked with the customer on the CIP project, and their intimate familiarity with the three PLC5s, our team was already up to speed and could act quickly. 

Solution:

The project team had to determine physical and communication connections.  The challenge was the existence of multiple DeviceNet networks to existing MCCs with legacy VFDs.  Additionally, IO was dispersed over many areas, in multiple panels requiring process knowledge of the core of the facility.  To reduce the downtime needed to a minimum all PLC5 IO racks were retained in place and a new panel was installed to house the Controllogix PLC and associated communications modules.  

During onsite support, the project team was able to convert a PanelView Plus that had previously been overlooked to the updated application communications. Originally 12 hours were scheduled to complete the conversion (which involved taking over existing IO, doing point-to-point checks, and validating the HMI), this schedule allowed the client to begin their CIP process before production the next day, with the new ControlLogix installed. IO Lists were developed to help with commissions and detailed DeviceNet networks were documented.  The team also solved challenges from non-default DeviceNet Node configurations and transitioning RIO communications to remote racks. 

Results:

The existing Wonderware Applications used for SCADA were updated by E Tech Group’s engineering team and communicated on the first attempt. The project team was able to meet and exceed the tight conversion schedule, with the customer beginning CIP sequences within 10 hours. Following these updates, the project team provided 48-hour continuous onsite support, available to assist with any immediate issues. With this project completed, the customer was able to benefit from the improved reporting, visualization, and connectivity with the upgraded PLC system.


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